Airbnb's biting issue: Bedbugs
Airbnb's biting issue: Bedbugs
3:08

Airbnb's biting issue: Bedbugs

Tech Industry
[MUSIC] Bedbugs are a fact of life. But what's new is now they are becoming a problem for Airbnb hosts and guests. I first spotted the issue while checking out Airbnb forums, and saw hundreds of discussions about bedbug infestations. Since then, I reached out to Airbnb users and they told me some of their horror stories. Here's a photo a woman sent me showing her allergic reaction to bedbug bites she said she got at an Airbnb. Another Airbnb guest sent me this picture of a bedbug she said she saw at her rental. And still another guest sent me more photos of bed bug bites. An AIRBNB spokesman told me that "We take bed bug complaints as seriously as we would any safety or cleanliness complaint, and we appreciate when hosts or guests bring these types of issues to our attention" So that we can improve and correct any problems. We have an outstanding customer support team. But when our handling of an issue fails to meet the high standards we set for ourselves, we work hard to ensure it is not repeated. Additionally, when we receive verified BedBug complaints, Our policy is to suspend the listing until the host can provide evidence, for example, from an exterminator, documenting that the issue has been fixed. But how AirBnB has handled users' bedbug complaints beyond suspending the listing has varied. For example, one guest who complained was reimbursed for her whole AirBnB stay While another was only reimbursed for half of her stay. A host I spoked to wasn't reimbursed untill I asked Airbnb about her specific situation. And I found this Airbnb tweet to a guest to ask about it's bedbug policy just last month. Airbnb tweeted, as each case is handled different within our policies We can't provide an exact solution. [MUSIC] Yes, they do. Lots of places have had them. Experts tell me hotels around the world were hot hard around 2010 and as a result they've instituted strict policies, like leaving linen carts in the hallways so bugs can't move between rooms. Many hotels also do regular bedbug inspections. [MUSIC] Again, bedbugs are not just an Airbnb issue, they can be found nearly anywhere. So it's always good practice to try and spot bedbugs and advance. The epidemiologists and exterminators I spoke to fed to check the rental before settling in. Especially look for black spots on the edges of mattresses and on the linens. While bedbugs don't spread disease, they can leave itchy painful bites and can be very difficult to get rid of. If it's too late and you think you've brought them home, the websites for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency are good sources of information. [MUSIC]

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